Rather than exercise judgment or critical perspective on crime and punishment, Spring Breakers and Pain & Gain share their characters’ self-indulgence, making narcissism seem like a palatable or practical means to achieve goals.
Biggie Smalls' mythology hasn't afforded him a dreamy endgame à la Tupac or Elvis. Nobody imagines Biggie pulling the ultimate Machiavellian coup by making the world believe he's dead while he's secretly chillin' in Jamaica.
In Half Nelson, Dan's (Ryan Gosling) take on history -- as concept and series of events -- has as much to do with his personal past as any ideological leanings. He sees history in motion, as ongoing questions.